Vollmer's deal is loaded with incentives and bonuses, and has a base salary of $17 million over four years. The deal has $9 million available in playing time and roster bonuses, and another $1 million in Pro Bowl bonuses, according to NBC's Pro Football Talk. The deal is only worth $8.25 million guaranteed, and carries a maximum value of $27 million.
New England's decision to let Vollmer test the market paid off, as the Patriots brought Vollmer back to Foxboro for significantly less money than the Indianapolis Colts paid for former Detroit Lions RT Gosder Cherilus. Indianapolis signed Cherilus to a five-year, $34 million deal at the beginning of free agency. Like Vollmer, Cherilus comes with some injury concern, as the former Lions offensive lineman reportedly had Regenokine therapy on his ailing knee.
Cherlius received $15.5 million in guaranteed money -- nearly double what Vollmer received in guarantees from New England.
Vollmer did receive a $7 million signing bonus with the deal, keeping his base salary relatively low each season.
When healthy, Vollmer is one of the NFL's premiere right tackles. Vollmer missed more than half of the 2011 regular season because of a back injury, and injured his knee in 2012 -- but only missed one game.
New England will return its entire starting offensive line in 2013 -- which is certainly good news for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. The Patriots did lose backup Donald Thomas to the Colts earlier this offseason, and replaced him with former Atlanta Falcons tackle Will Svitek.